March 19, 2012

University of the District of Columbia Women's Track and Field Team Volunteers at Rock 'n Roll USA Marathon

By: Head Coach Alton McKenzie

WASHINGTON, DC - After a Friday morning practice, the University of the District of Columbia Women's Track & Field team began its volunteer day by getting a visit from UDC's recently inducted Hall of Famer Liz Young McNair.

Ms. McNair (UDC's first-ever Track All-American) spoke to the student-athletes about her journey to the school and about being one of only five athletes on the team when she first arrived. She emphasized the importance of making the best of the opportunities given to her, overcoming major obstacles, and becoming one of the best sprinters of her era. She also told several humorous stories about her time at UDC and shared her journals which she kept from 1978-1980.

Overall, the athletes had a very wonderful experience hearing Ms. McNair's stories, and they asked for her to pay another visit before the end of the 2011-2012 season.

Ms. McNair could have spoken to us for hours, but we needed to move on to the afternoon activity - volunteering at Washington, DC's Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.

The Health & Fitness expo was held at the DC Armory from 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 16th. We volunteered from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. We were tasked with providing assistance to participants by picking up their competitor packages for this year's inaugural edition of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in DC, which saw 24,000 participants lining up to race on Saturday morning. While half of the group helped to register competitors, the other half worked in the merchandise store assisting with inventory, manning the changing rooms, and assisting at the registers with keeping the long lines moving along for those making purchases.

It was great for the student-athletes to gain insight into what it takes to put on such a major event and to get behind-the-scenes access to all of the details involved in making such an event a success. The few hours of work made for a rewarding team event and was time well-spent.